Apple today unveiled the iPhone 7 which, as expected, ditches the headphone jack.
Cupertino’s updated iPhone will rely on the Lightning connector for those with wired headphones. Some audio companies like JBL are already making Lightning-enabled headphones; for everyone else, the iPhone 7 will come with an adapter if you want to keep your existing audio setup.
Apple also teased its own wireless earbuds, dubbed AirPods. They resemble the company’s existing EarPods, just without the wires. They connect with devices running iOS 10, watchOS 3, or macOS Sierra and arrive in late October for $159.
AirPods will run a new W1 chip, which will also be featured in Beats products: the Beats Solo 3 Wireless, PowerBeats 3 Wireless, and the new Beats X.
Why get rid of the headphone jack? Phil Schiller, SVP of worldwide marketing, initially provided a very Apple response: “It really comes down to one word: courage,” he said. “The courage to move on, do something better.”
But the real reason is space, Schiller acknowledged. You can’t add a bigger, brighter display or longer-lasting battery if there’s no room, and you know Apple is not going to make a bulkier device. So farewell, headphone jack.
Taking a cue from its rivals, meanwhile, Apple is finally making the iPhone water-resistant to protect against splashes and spills. It’s rated IP67, which means it can survive in about 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes, but as Apple’s site notes, liquid damage is not covered under warranty.
For photography fans, the iPhone 7 sports a 12-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization, a larger ƒ/1.8 aperture, and 6-element lens for what Apple says will be “more detailed photos and videos.” A 7-megapixel FaceTime HD camera, up from 5MP, promises crisper video chats and “better selfies.”
The iPhone 7 Plus adds a second 12-megapixel telephoto camera for optical zoom at two times and up to 10 times digital zoom for photos. Later this year, an update will add a new depth-of-field effect for iPhone 7 Plus. Both versions support 4K video recording at 30fps.
On the inside, the iPhone 7 lineup will run Apple’s new A10 Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture and an embedded M10 motion coprocessor.
Apple promised a more responsive, reliable, and customizable Home button, which will be force sensitive and provide taptic feedback for certain actions, like moving a widget. The new iPhones also sport stereo speakers.
Pre-orders begin on Friday, and the phones arrives a week later starting at $649 for iPhone 7 and $749 for iPhone 7 Plus. Apple is dropping the 16GB version of its smartphone, so iPhone 7 will come in 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB configurations. A new jet black color is available in 128GB or 256GB.